AntiSocial Britain and the Challenge of Citizenship

Britain may look like a successful society but it does not feel like one.

Driven by personal aspiration, preoccupied by privacy, isolated by modern lifestyles and demoralised by the pessimism of the media, we have lost the capacity for common cause and with it our confidence in the political process and our commitment to community.

AntiSocial Britain is critical of politicians of all parties for attempting – and failing – to appease consumerism instead of arguing for citizenship, and for accepting a range of social responsibilities which they cannot fulfil.

But, rejecting the conventional wisdom that politicians are chiefly to blame for the decline of social capital, it argues for a rebalancing of their relationship with the public so that responsibility for civil society shifts decisively from one to the other. It calls not for smaller government but for bigger citizenship.

It goes on to outline proposals for a more visionary and purposeful politics, a more honest public debate and, above all, a greater participation by citizens in their own governance and community and ultimately in securing and enjoying their own wellbeing.

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